Blogger Recognition Award

Thank you so very much, https://dandelionsacre.com, for giving me an award for blogging. I appreciate your kind comments and your follow.

I began blogging over seven years ago after attending Montrose Christian Writers Conference in Montrose, PA near Binghamton, NY. I didn’t really know what to expect and it was a slow start. I am still learning, especially about importing pictures.

I so enjoy your photographs and learning about bits and pieces of your life.

Advice I’d give to new bloggers: As a writer, it’s important to be vulnerable so people will relate to what you are saying, but it’s important to use wisdom. Whatever you write will be out there for whomever to read for a long time, maybe forever.

I needed to learn to show up more consistently so people following me would take the time to stop by the site.

I began to understand the importance of following other bloggers. It’s a community and I really enjoy reading other people’s thoughts and opinions. I’ve learned from folks across the world or across my country. How awesome is that?

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers for a blogger recognition award. I saved dandelionsacre.com’s beautiful award on my computer to copy and paste on my site and it told me how to paste it in language I couldn’t understand. So, with no pretty award picture, here they are:

  1. For wisdom and beautiful poetry: lifecameos at wordpresscom7862wordpresscom.wordpress.com/
  2. For insights into science and faith and intrigue: endatymes.wordpress.com/
  3. For a blog by a husband, father and man of faith being real: afracturedfaithblog.wordpress.com/
  4. For cooking and beautiful gardens and family love: indianeskitchen.com
  5. thedaddyblitz.wordpress.com by a Christian dad and husband and a thinking person with some great advice
  6. texaslawstudent.com by a young fellow sharing his love of Texas and ideas worth reading
  7. savannahhardcastle.wordpress.com/ writes with compassion for sufferers and gives wisdom that offers comfort

I could choose many more, but it’s late and I’m losing the ability to think and to craft intelligible sentences. Thanks for stopping by my site and I hope you’ll stop at these blogs as well.

This is a copy of Elizabeth’s instructions to me:

“So, congratulations, guys, for receiving the Blogger Recognition Award, nomination! If you’d like to pass the love along, here are the rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Write a post to show your award.
Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Give pieces of advice to new bloggers.
Select 5-15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.”

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How to Choose the “Right” Spouse

I chose to write this draft today during my quiet time with God because He re-arranged my thinking. Blog first, novel second, dishes third. I intended to do the dishes first. My husband might ask, “Are you sure you heard from God?”

LOL. I asked my incredible husband if he had any ideas for this blog. He told me he didn’t think there was any one right way to choose the “right” spouse.

I had a list of qualifications for the person I wanted to marry. My apologies if I happened to date you and it didn’t work out and by some miracle you are reading this. Possibly, most probably, God in His infinite wisdom, had a different plan for the both of us.

Anyway, on my list which I never wrote down, which I will swear is not true if you quote me, I wanted a man smarter than me. Being a Christian, I’ll refrain from lying, but I won’t like it. So, this is why I often quote my husband, because as annoying as it sometimes is, he is smarter than I am, and I get to take advantage of it.

I probably wrote this before, but at age nineteen when we decided we were crazy in love and heading for marriage, he said, “I will never leave you, but if you ever want to leave me, just light up a cigarette and I’ll know you want me gone. You’ll be free.”

He hated the smell of cigarettes. I knew that. I didn’t take it well. Craig and I are opposite in many ways, including how we perceive the world. That can be a blessing, or not. I felt the heat rise and I said, “Well, if that’s how you feel, I’ll say the same thing to you. If you and I marry, I will commit to you forever, but if you want to leave, feel free.”

That was almost forty years ago now. For the rest of my list, if you’re interested:

1.) He had to be a Christian because I was a Christian.

2.) I wanted to feel comfortable around him. This list is not in order of importance after #1. This is something I didn’t realize was important to me until after our second date and I could eat with ease in front of him.

3.) He had to have a sense of humor.

4.) I needed to like his looks, his way of carrying himself, all the personal stuff. I dated a guy in college that took judo, like Craig did. He dumped me. That hurt, but one thing I hated was him coming over right after gym smelling like the gym plus some. Craig came over after showering up. Yay!

5.) Okay, I’m being brutally honest here, I came from a home where my dad worked hard and my mom raised all of us kids, sewed, cleaned, baked, etc. I wanted a husband to work hard at a job to provide for the family so we could have kids and I could be a mother at home. Craig and I were on the same page with that.

6.) Communication and honesty are huge on my list. If I couldn’t talk to my husband and be real with him and be vulnerable with him, and strong in my opinions with him, we would have never made it.

7.) I wanted a husband worthy of respect who would respect me.

8.) I wanted a guy my family would approve of, that my friends would approve of. When I was in college, my friends started telling me, “Connie, you’ve got to meet this guy.” His friends were telling him, “Craig, there’s this girl…”

The night before our wedding, after three years of dating (and he never got mad at me during all that time, “can you imagine that?”), I talked to my younger sister, “I hope I’m not making a mistake” for hours. I was crazy about Craig, but I hadn’t dated much and I knew I was committing for life. FOR LIFE. Aughh! How could I be sure?

When he got mad at me the first time, I thought, “Oh, God!”

I am an extrovert, he is an introvert. Introverts, in my experience, get quiet and avoid their spouse when they’re upset. Very unnerving to an extrovert. Anyway, no marriage is perfect.

As a sociology and psychology major in college, it seems I learned that:

9.) It’s best to marry someone in your own socio-economic level. If you are poor and you want to get rich, just do it together. I would add to that, learn all the differences in the culture so you’re able to adapt along the way.

My aunt always wanted to go to college and she didn’t get started until she was in her fifties. She told her husband that if she went, she wanted him to go with her, figuratively speaking. She wanted him to grow along with her so that they didn’t grow apart. He was agreeable. They stayed married until death parted them.

So, how do you pick the right person?

1.) Pray like crazy.

2.) Notice every thing that annoys you and remember you are committing to it for the rest of your life. Most of it will not change. Being in love makes one overly optimistic.

3.) Be compatible with your religious beliefs.

4.) Talk about how you handle money and how your family handled money. Many marriages break up over money problems. Whoever is better in handling the finances needs to do so. Once again, communication is imperative. Talk about this stuff before you get married.

5.) Be sure you can communicate in a loving manner. Talking; Listening; Repeating what you think you heard them say back to them; Respecting their opinion; Listening until they’ve finished; Listening without formulating a come-back as they’re talking; giving them the benefit of the doubt if they’ve been honest in the past; Listening as if it were you talking to them; and then talking only if you’re not about to spout ugly, hurtful things at them. If you are tempted to hurl anger and pain at your loved one, then stop and say, “I need some time to sort out my response, please.”

If you can’t do these things while you are dating, it will only get worse when you get married. People tend to hide their worst things, unintentionally or sometimes, sad but true, intentionally. If their basic character is sound, and you can weather the storms, you will have a successful marriage and a bonding like no other.

If you find yourself making excuses for your perspective spouse’s behavior continually, don’t get married. There are many people on this planet, you have time or you may continue in a saner, happier single life. If the issues can be worked out, great, but take your time!!!

Joining lives with someone is a serious commitment. According to “Focus on the Family,” many people that live together first and then decide to marry, end up breaking up. Maybe the man doesn’t respect her, but it’s usually him that leaves.

There are wonderful men and women out there, please don’t get me wrong. If you are single and reading this, live your life to the fullest and prepare yourself to be ready to serve and love and to respect, and to receive love and respect and service. It’s a life-time work that gets sweeter and sweeter and is hard hit by the media and by co-workers and by other negative forces. Like Paul said, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in 1 Corinthians 12:31, “Keep on desiring the better gifts. And now I will show you the best way of all.”

He then leads them into the famous chapter on love – 1 Corinthians 13.

My husband, the man I love more now than I did in the 1970’s, says the one you are married to now is the “right spouse” for you, unless they are cheating on you or abusing you. Cheating, Jesus said, is grounds for divorce, although God never intended for people to divorce. Abuse is grounds for separation in my opinion and many professional’s opinions, as well.

God made us in His image to love Him and to be loved by Him and to be loved by your family. If a spouse is not loving you, but hurting you, you need to get out, especially if children are watching and soaking up the behavior into their impressionable brains and spirits.

If you are afraid to date, pray and venture forth in safe places. God says in Genesis that He set Adam and Eve in a family. That was a model for us. It is a good thing if done well.

We got pre-marital counseling before we got married and the one thing I remember is hearing, “Don’t hit your partner below the belt.”

When fighting, and you will disagree, don’t bring up a ton of stuff – stick to the issue at hand and don’t be mean about it – or hit below the belt. That left an impression. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” in  the book of Matthew.

You should enjoy the person you’re intending to spend the rest of your life with. I still smile almost every time I greet my husband as he enters our home. If you don’t like them, he or she is the wrong one, something’s missing. Jump ship.

Positioned with Christ

We had a guest speaker at our church two Sundays ago; Pastor Al Craig and his wife, Sue, visiting from North Carolina. He asked my husband to sit on a chair at the front of the main aisle. If you looked way over his head, you would see a huge wooden cross. Empty of the living Savior.

Pastor Al told us that God is our provider.

One of the most important things God provided us with was the gift of grace. If we will just believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, repent of our sins and ask Him to be the boss, the Lord of our lives, He promises to be our grace giver, the Savior.

I’ve heard it said, “When the time comes to stand before God, the Father, Jesus says, ‘This is a child of ours, Look at this one through My sacrifice.'”

Jesus died after He took on all the sins of the world. He gave Himself, the perfect god/man as payment for our sins so mankind could be free from judgment. Once we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, He tells us that He is in us and we are in Him, a great mystery of the faith. Pastor Al said, “Being in Him places us in heavenly places, according to the letter of Colossians.”

So, as an object lesson, we saw my husband sitting in a chair. As long as he sat in the chair, in Christ, He’s seated at the right hand of the Father. He’s sitting high above evil. If he should get off the chair, walk up the stairs, take the nails off the cross and choose to live in the flesh, he chooses to become lower than the heavenly places. He’s a Christian choosing to not sit in heavenly places and become subject to being in the world and turning his back on God’s provision and protection and power.

“Never mind, God, I’ll handle my life on my own. I don’t want to bother You. I want to live with bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart. I want to get drunk tonight, I want to live with someone outside of marriage for a while, I want to hurt them as bad as they hurt me,” etc., etc.

There’s more to this sermon, and this is a distillation of my notes, which missed some of what Pastor Al preached. But, being alive in Christ feels like a fresh fire to me after service on that Sunday. We need each other, believers, to stir up the gifts that God has given us. Today Is A Fresh Start. Jesus will let people repent and start over again, but He knows our heart. If we’re fooling around, playing at being a Christian, we may harden our hearts against God, and never get back on that heavenly chair. The enemy of our souls wants that to happen, since we remind him of God and he hates God.

We are made in the image and likeness of God and we will never be the holy and perfect God, but He treasures us. If we keep our relationship with God, He gives us position with Him. He promises us many things as joint heirs with Christ, and nothing beats the love of Christ and of the Father and of the Holy Spirit.

Write For Life

I set some goals to get my novel proposal done before October 28, which I’ve been meeting. I also decided to write everything for God a while back. It may not always be a Christian work, but it won’t be displeasing to God. I want to write words for life. Jesus said that He came to give life and that abundantly, John 10:10. When I die I want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” In a parable, Jesus talks like this in Matthew 25:21, 23.

In Philippians 4:8 it says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

With all that’s going on in the world, I want to write about Jesus and the hope of knowing Him as Lord and Savior. This life is short and eternity is forever. When I hear that the city of Houston is asking pastors to give their sermon notes to the government in America, where there is supposed to be separation of church and state and I hear of atrocities around the world, I keep thinking the prophecies of Jesus’ soon return are being fulfilled before our very eyes.

If you write, do you have goals set? Are you working on them? If you are a Christian, are you thinking on positive things and praying for others and letting others know of the hope of heaven and the ability to avoid hell?

I wish I was better at it. I’ve been asking God to help me. The gospel is offensive, calling people, all people, sinners. I’m too much of a people-pleaser at times. How happy will they be if I don’t tell them in love of heaven and hell, and they end up in hell? Dear God.